As one of the few Jews in my elementary school I was often called upon to explain the strange holidays that peppered the Jewish calendar. Generally I was not envied, except when it was time for Purim. Purim is sort of like Mardi Gras but with a plot line. Observing the holiday involves telling the story, making a lot of noise, eating a lot, drinking, dressing up in costume, wearing masks, dancing and merry making long into the night, etc. Where better to learn about these important traditions than in the Big Apple? Here is a selection of exciting Purim events designed for the Jew and the goy alike.
If you want to connect with Israeli pop culture go to le Poisson Rouge, where Hadag Nahash will be pouring forth their provocative political hip-hop. Check out this video for a taste:
For a more, ahem, participatory celebration, make your way out to 3rd Ward for Heeb Magazine’s Pour ‘em Party!
Pour ‘em for Purim! Dust off your costumes, shine your dancing shoes and get ready to guzzle. Ever been caught in traffic while the Chassids of South W’burg crowd the streets in costume in February? They are celebrating Purim. When the Jews of ancient Persia avoided extinction, God commanded them to celebrate by getting so drunk they couldn’t tell their friends from their enemies. Sounds good to us! Jewish or not, put on a costume and join us!
JDub Records is also throwing a Purim party, this one of the dancing variety, with excellent DJs throughout the night and $2 beers from Brooklyn Brewery to keep you moving.
As long as you have an appropriate costume in your closet, The Purim Party is free (I used to use a crocheted tablecloth as a veil when I dressed up as Queen Esther). They created this adorable poster so I trust that this party will be one of the more creative events.
The Purim Party
I’m sure you’re aware that many NY comedians are Jewish, with that understanding I’m sure you realize that there simply has to be a Purim comedy show. There is! And it’s at 92Y Tribeca and features spoofs of Jersey Shore, online dating, Glenn Beck, Jay and Conan (including a very special surprise message from a Tonight Show w/Conan star), Glee, and more. Here’s the promo video:
And finally, if you’re still on your feet by Sunday evening check out the CRAZYKINKYPURIM Variety Show; it’ll be packed with crazy comedy, sexy song and dance, and steamy burlesque acts (not for the weak of heart!). Any event thrown by KinkyJews is sure to be, umm… kinky.
All around the country people are rushing to find the perfect holiday gifts for their friends and family; they are running through the aisles of Walmarts and department stores and shopping online at Amazon. Here in The Big Apple we have a better way to buy gifts. The way we shop? Craft fairs my darlings, craft fairs. Our fine city is a treasure trove of artists and artisans who can provide you with everything from scratch ‘n sniff holiday cards to one-of-a-kind jewelry, not to mention all the best munchies imaginable!
If you missed Craftacular last week I apologize; I should have given you a heads up. Luckily most of the vendors also sell in select stores and on Etsy so you still have a chance to pick up my favorites: beautiful purses by Shara Porter, heavenly bath products by Lee-lai and stunning dresses by Les Enfants Sauvages.
3rd Ward’s Handmade Holiday Craft Fair this Saturday is likely to be one of the biggest hits of the season. Even if you don’t find gifts you’ll get to enjoy live music from Raya Brass Band. On top of all the vendors and the music there will be free demos and workshops including:
Handmade Skincare, Wire Wrapping: Making Old Jewelery New, DIY Printing Methods, Heat Printing on Fabrics, How to Make your own Textiles with Textile Arts Center and more!
The holiday season is also the time for pop-up shops! New York Magazine has compiled an excellent list of the temporary shops that you’ll want to check out before they disappear! I am particularly excited about anything that has anything to do with Papabubble; their candy is truly “too pretty to eat” (Carnival- I know I’m a dork).
Candy by Papabubble
If you need to get your unique hand-made gifts on the run there are tent cities set up at a few major crossroads. The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park contain all manner of goodies, though they tend towards the pricier end of things. The Grand Central Holiday Fair is a madhouse but holds some hidden gems. The Columbus Circle Holiday Market offers the added bonus of an information booth with a helpful concierge to guide your shopping, plus since it’s located right on Central Park you can stroll through our very own Winter Wonderland post-shopping. Finally the Union Sq. Holiday Market offers a range of goodies, from Belgian liege waffles to bath products shaped like cupcakes!
If you’re truly at a loss for what to give, this weekend at 303 Grand you can have a psychic chose a wrapped mystery gift for you. I kid you not, this is New York kids.
Finally, mark your calendars- next weekend is the Brooklyn Lyceum Craft Market. If you go be sure to check out the jewelry by Kimlast, whoever you buy it for will appreciate its extra special flare.
Golden Reef Handcarved Pendant by Kimlast
Happy shopping! Stay tuned for news of upcoming events and follow me on twitter for the very latest!
I hope everyone had a marvelous Halloween! Mine was quite amazing and I will tell you much more about it shortly! If you’re extra curious you can check out the pictures I’ve already posted on Flickr!
The Dorkbots are back tonight; they will be doing all sorts of nefarious things with electricity at Location One. Check out my detailed review of one of their previous performances to get an idea of what you’re in for!
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, or checking the sidebar, you’ve already heard about the Clothing Swap today at the House of Yes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs free concert on Friday!
Immortalized in numerous Woody Allen soundtracks, such as Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Reinhardt was one of the first prominent European jazz musicians and revolutionized popular jazz in the ’30s, composing countless songs that became standards including “Minor Swing” and “Belleville.”
On Friday at the Morgan Library you can enjoy one of my favorite French films- Ridicule. This sumptuous costume drama is just absurd enough to be highly enjoyable and just historically accurate enough to help you understand the French Revolution.
If you didn’t manage to get tickets to any of those big acts you may want to consider a much tastier event taking over the city this weekend: Cook Eat Drink Live is “a three-day modern food and wine event at The Tunnel & La.Venue (608 West 28th Street), featuring a large sampling of ultra-premium gourmet foods and spirits, plus appearances from some of the city’s premier chefs.” Even the flyer is yummy:
The evening centers around the museum’s new exhibition Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present. Performing at the free extravaganza, between 5pm and 8:15pm, are Grass Widow (lo-fi indie), the Beets (garage rock), and Brooklyn’s own Crystal Stilts (psychobilly surf punk). Then at 9pm, DJ Evil Dee kicks off the First Saturday dance party, spinning sounds inspired by the exhibit’s featured artists. The night also offers talks on the photography on display, including panels with the exhibit’s curator, Gail Buckland, and two of its photographers, Bob Gruen and Justin Borucki.
This weekend is chock full of excellent events. Be sure to check my previous post for fun stuff happening tonight and tomorrow. Plus, a quick addition for tonight, if you won’t be able to make it to the Excess Energy party at Hugs Thursday you can check out Brian Blackout at Fontana’s tonight; he’ll be spinning a lot of 70’s arena rock, funk, psychedelia and indie rock- sounds like a party to me!
Friday night Rooftop Films takes the show the the ground (the lawn of Automotive High School in Wburg) for Animation Block Party! They’re “dedicated to exhibiting the world’s best independent, professional and student animation,” and they’ve definitely followed through in the past. This is going to be a fantastic show, full of comedy and drama and animation in all sorts of styles.
If you’re looking for a classic film join kids of all ages in Hudson River Park for a screening of Ghostbusters! Check out the trailer to remind yourself of just how great it is:
On Saturday night you can go to the rave you always dreamed of attending- FIXED is coming back to the basement of the Tribeca Grand! Guest DJs Riton, Lemonade and Free Energy will keep you dancing all night long!
Also on Saturday Indian Idol Kailash Kher will be rocking the Prospect Park Bandshell! His music is described as “adding elements of folk, reggae and rock to Indian pop” and he definitely looks like he knows how to put on a show.
On Sunday, for a change of pace from all the beer celebrations, celebrate pork at 3rd Ward’s 2nd Annual Pig Roast and Dance Party! Butchers from Marlow & Sons will be slicing and dicing for your culinary enjoyment (there will also be beer, don’t worry). Here’s an impressive (and kind of gross) image from last year’s event:
Our Lady J is a New York based singer/songwriter known for her visionary gospel stylings and powerhouse pianistic skills. Along with her “Pink Champagne Orchestra” and “Train-To-Kill Gospel Choir,” she has sold out crowds at The Zipper Factory, Ars Nova, The Beechman Theatre, as well as world venues including London’s prestigious South Bank Centre and the Spiegeltent (in Manchester, UK). She has also traveled the globe as music director and arranger for Justin Bond’s recent original song cycles. This year, Out Magazine named her as one of the “Out 100,” a list of the people who helped shape LGBT culture in 2008.
On Monday MetroMetro is hosting the 3rd Board Game Olympics at Union Hall; games include Trivial Pursuit, Jenga, Uno, Battleship, Connect Four, Memory and Operation! Sign up in advance and use those skills your parents said were useless!
Stay tuned for additions and have a great weekend!
In addition to the extensive list of events I’ve already given you for the next 7 days, there are a number of events that have recently come to my attention.
Tonight, and several other nights this week, Art Brut is playing at Mercury Lounge. Gothamist calls them “wildly entertaining,” which is probably why every show is currently listed as sold out. If you’re in the mood for a high energy concert exert your cunning and find a way through the door!
If you need to save up your cunning for other shenanigans you can still buy tickets for an awesome show at Le Poisson Rouge on Tuesday- Emilie Simon will satisfy your francophile needs and get you dancing into the bargain!
On Wednesday Clubbed Thumb will be celebrating the start of Summerworks 2009 with a grand (free!) party entitled O*H*I*O! featuring Susan Bernfield, David Herskovits, Melanie Joseph, Robert Lyons, Kristin Marting.
Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops and produces funny, strange, and provocative new plays by living American writers. Since its founding in 1996, the company has earned 4 OBIES and presented plays in every form of development, including over 70 full productions. Clubbed Thumb is an incubator for artists and their work, staging plays to critical acclaim while supporting an ever-growing creative community.
If you can’t make the shindig on Wednesday be sure to check out the first Summerworks play- punkplay by Gregory Moss, running from June 7-13 at the Ohio Theatre.
On Friday there’s an even more questionable production opening at P.S.122; the Amoralists Theater Company is presenting The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side. The plot summary is as follows:
An extraordinary gathering of young idealists live as a modern day urban tribe above a vegan restaurant in NYC. Billy, Dawn, Dear and Wyatt are an extended sexual family battling their fears and addictions in order to live their utopian dream.
I believe that is the most hipster thing I have heard all week! It sounds absurd and marvelous- enjoy!
For more cutting edge hipster fun this weekend take a stroll through Bushwick; the Bushwick Open Studios event gives you access to hundreds of artists’ garrets as well as a chance to experience all sorts of performance art! Some of the hot spots are venues I’ve mentioned in the past, such as 3rd Ward and Goodbye Blue Monday. There will be art for sale and munchies up for grabs, (both details conveniently marked on the maps), so you can add some pizazz to your apartment and be a freegan for the day!
Mike Daisey returns to Joe’s Pub with a one-night orgy of all things bacon: from sizzling fat to swine flu, from baco-bits to Hasids to Charlotte’s. In one delicious hour we’ll explore bacon in all its filthy, gorgeous deliciousness.
Have a great week/weekend and I will be back and better than ever as of next Tuesday!
If your Memorial Day weekend was a fraction as awesome as mine was I expect you are still much too glowy to sit still at work, in which case you’ll be pleased to hear that there are a number of excellent events coming up that will fit your mood!
Tonight I will be at Joe’s Pub enjoying the vocal styling of Naomi Shelton; she is celebrating the release of her album ‘What Have You Done, My Brother?’ This clip should pique your interest:
For a more active evening, my friend DJ Fucci will be partying at the Modular event- Downtown Downturn:
As you may already know, we at Loudcrowd have been sponsoring Modularrecords’ scintillating Downtown Downturn event, a merging of superior DJs from our partnership with labels such as Fools Gold’s Nick Catchdubs and DFA’s Marcos Cabral (of Runaway) and Nomi (of Hercules and Love Affair). Modular, as I’m sure you’re aware, is responsible for putting out records by the beloved Cut Copy, Ladyhawke, and Soulwax, to name a few. On Wednesday May 27th —that’s tonight— we are excited to crown off our sponsorship by celebrating Loudcrowd’s presence New York, featuring LC residents Fucci and our newest edition, the talented Dirty Jean. Joining us on the decks is Rok One of the beat-poppin’ super crew The Bangers; Rok One has played all over the US and Europe alongside the likes of Grandmaster Flash, A-Trak, Afrika Bambaataa, Diplo, and MSTRKRFT.
ALSO tonight, Michael Muhammad Knight, author of “The Taqwacores,” which has been called “‘The Catcher in the Rye’ for young Muslims,” will be participating in a Literary Death Match at Pianos. I may not understand the concept of such a competition but I have read “The Taqwacores” and I can tell you that it would be hard for anything short of “The Catcher in the Rye” to truly compete. If you go be sure to report back!
On Thursday you can celebrate America’s favorite food- pizza, at 3rd Ward:
The Greatness of Pizza is not unknown to Man. The drama of sinking one’s teeth into gooey, melted cheese and a deliciously crisp crust is familiar to all. But pizza is not “just a pie”, it’s a way of life! Join us for a night of eating, drinking, dough tossing and Pizza! The Movie. Stand by as The U.S. Pizza Team heads to the The World Pizza Championship in Italy, revel at dough tossing acrobatics and gasp at pizza sabotage! Filmmaker Michael Dorian captures the laughs, the cries and the scandals that surround this provocative source of pleasure and nourishment.
Thursday is also opening night for New York Classical Theater’s summer season. King Lear will begin at Central Park West and West 103rd Street; scene changes involve the cast and audience wandering to another are of the park, so don’t get too settled!
Are you a literary snob? A book worm? A fan of libraries? Perhaps you simply look hot in glasses? Well, on Friday there’s a dance party for you! The Desk Set is hosting the Dance Dance Library Revolution at Enids!
The Art by Chance Film Screening/Launch Party in New York will give you a chance to see all the films in the inaugural festival as well as be part of a very unique experience. To keep with the “by chance,” we are inviting musicians to create impromptu soundtracks live to all the films. 31 films, four different music sets, one party for all. Performances by Dave Fischoff, DJ Chad North, Dalis Elvis, and Anthology Strings and Friends.
There seems to be a bit of confusion about the time, but either Saturday or Sunday afternoon, (give the Coney Island people a call if you’re interested), there will be an epic showdown between former Wall St. Moguls and their currently unemployed former employees- The Great Coney Island Tug-of-War:
The event, hosted by Coney Island, is an attempt to move beyond the festering animosity created by the economic collapse. The Great Coney Island Tug-of-War is a wide-ranging dispute resolution mechanism that will feature multiple different match-ups, including firefighters and police officers, vegans and carnivores, green-minded cyclists and unapologetic motorists, and Cyclone fans and Wonder Wheel fans. The 1,000-foot tug-of-war rope also will be offered as a platform to any two groups with an intractable disagreement.
On Sunday show the hipsters what you’ve got at The Gutter, where the admission gets you those hot bowling shoes, a chance to win big and a burger into the bargain!
First of all can we just stop and freak out for a minute that it’s going to be in the EIGHTIES this weekend?! My uncle called me and reminded me to clean my air conditioner’s filter before turning it on (you should too)! In other words, you should get outside as much as possible this weekend!
If you’re a fan of beautiful old villas and landscaped gardens overlooking the Palisades and you’ve never been up to Wave Hill this is certainly the perfect weekend to check it out. There are various events for Arbor Day happening, including tours of the gardens where wild flowers, magnolias and lilacs are in bloom. The views are dramatic and there’s a lovely Sunday brunch buffet (make your reservation by 4pm today).
Another great outdoor activity- join New York Like a Native on a walking tour of a part of Brooklyn you don’t know well or that you think you know well. You’ll learn something new about the history of your area and most of the tours include a treat (like a beer or an ice cream cone).
For a somewhat more active learning experience you can participate in a crazy scavenger hunt on the LES with the Anthropologists on Sunday. When did you last go searching for clues downtown?
If you want your sunshine with art on the side the TOAST is for you:
The TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour is a free, self-guided tour of approximately 100 artists’ studios throughout TriBeCa. Bringing artists and the public together, it provides an opportunity for visitors to interact with the artists and see their artwork at the source, the artist’s own studio. An artist-run organization, TOAST has led a true metropolitan “grass roots” path. It began as an ad-hoc group of artists who wanted to revive a neighborhood art walk. Now a not-for-profit organization, it is still a grass roots effort, run by the participating artists. Neighborhood businesses and supporters supplement most of the needed funds not covered by the artists’ entry fees.
When you’re ready to step indoors there are several fantastic exhibits worth checking out. First, the exhbit of Picasso’s later works at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea has gotten fantastic reviews.
They were all making art that combined elements of Pop and Conceptualism with social concerns about consumerism, political power and gender. Their work kept ideas to the fore but rematerialized them as images. Many of those images were photographic, extracted from everyday life, a life that was increasingly a creation of media culture, as Andy Warhol well knew.
This piece, by David Salle, sparked my interest and I’m hoping to check it out in person sometime soon.
David Salle- 'The Coffee Drinkers'
Tonight is the opening of a much more contemporary artist’s exhibit at 3rd Ward; check out the work of Poster Boy, which is now being endorsed by the advertisers!
A piece by Poster Boy
Also tonight, you can party for a cause at Montien’s, where there will be great drink specials to raise money to shoot the pilot episode of “Foreign Bound” : A travel-reality show that focuses on inspiring and educating the younger demographic and aims to promote cross-cultural understanding and effective communication between borders.
A swinging hard bop jazz quintet—born out of the tradition of the late, great jazz genius Freddie Hubbard—The New Cookers are known for their driving rhythms and engaging performances, celebrating the original Brooklyn jazz music makers and adding their own sound to that rich legacy.
I’m back in NYC and super excited about this week’s events! I will relate my adventures in Boston in a later post but these announcements must come first.
Tonight start your week off with some funky dance music at Beauty Bar:
Eugene and returning guest DJ Brian Blackout braid the tunes and work out the kinks (not the band) for the dancefloor. However, The Kinks might be heard as DJs Go-Karff & Sandman present the “Lovedolls Superstar” rock extravaganza in the front room. Beloved bartenders Hillery & Sam take care of the bar with $5 Olive Vodka drinks and $3 Buds all night. No Cover.
Also tonight you can hear the real deal on Dylan when the world’s preeminent Dylan biographer, Clinton Heylin, spins his tales at Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers. His new book, Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1963, is due out in April.
On Tuesday take advantage of the (somewhat) warmer weather and make the trek out to 3rd Ward for their newest monthly event- THE…
On its debut night, 3rd Ward’s Return of the Wizard is calling out Mario Kart fanatics for a battle to the death on Nintendo 64. We’ll pit you and your friends against each other in high stakes video game competition projected onto 10×10 ft. screens. Relive your glory days – minus the grape soda and nagging parents – plus ice cold beers, cash prizes, live beats from DJ Tanner and the month long title of 3rd Ward’s Video Game King or Queen. At 3rd Ward, it’s co-ed style — girls, it’s time to get the boys back for all their years of not letting you play!
You may remember my stories about the Dorkbots and their absurd antics; on Wednesday you can see them for yourself at Location One. What could be more appropriate for April Fool’s Day than people doing strange things with electricity?
The previous two volumes of this acclaimed anthology set forth a globally decentered revision of twentieth-century poetry from the perspective of its many avant-gardes. Now editors Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey C. Robinson bring a radically new interpretation to the poetry of the Ninteenth century, viewing the work of the romantic and post-romantic poets as an international, collective, often utopian enterprise that became the foundation of experimental modernism. The range of volume three and its skewing of the traditional canon illuminate the process by which romantics and post- romantics challenged nineteenth-century orthodoxies and propelled poetry to the experiments of a later modernism and avant-gardism. Jerome Rothenberg is an internationally known poet and Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts and Literature at the University of California, San Diego. Jeffrey C. Robinson is Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder.
I hope everyone is as happy to have a 4 day week as I am! Celebrate tonight by taking home arm loads of free clothes from Thrift On!, a crazy clothes swap at the Botanica Bar. There will be a DJ, comedy, contests and mayhem. Bring something you’re tired of and remember one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
Zs (say “zees”) combines cutting-edge contemporary classical with avant-rock, diluting neither style in the least. The trio’s hyperinvolved compositions and feverishly exacting performances make it essential listening for any enthusiast of either genre. Sam Mickens hails from visionary art-pop group the Dead Science.
I know I’ve mentioned this venue before, but I will reiterate that this is really the pinnacle of artsy hipsterness in Wburg.
On Wednesday I will be attending a preview performance of a new show called ‘Fire Throws’ at the 3LD Art and Technology Center. It’s a modern twist on the classic play Antigone, which makes it in my opinion the epitome of ‘Questionable Theatre.’ Naturally A and I are going and I expect it will either be amazing or awful; either way we are certain to enjoy ourselves immensely.
If you aren’t as confident in your ability to laugh off potentially dreadful theater I encourage you to check out the Mixer Reading and Music Series at Cakeshop. Dare Dukes was the musical performer last time and I totally fell in love with his crooning city-folk style. It didn’t hurt that Dare is what my friend K would call ’sexy ugly.’ Actually he’ll be performing this Friday at Banjo Jims, so you can judge for yourself. This week the Mixer includes readings by Janice Erlbaum, Rob Sheffield and Melissa Seley and a musical performance by Allison Clancy. It should also be noted that not only is Cakeshop a great basement bar, it is also the purveyor of yummy pastries both vegan and otherwise.
On Thursday there will be another great literary event- the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series at Solas. It was at one of these events that I heard Junot Diaz read from ‘The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’ and became an instant die hard fan. As someone who enjoys both Llosa and Kanye West this was probably bound to happen. This week Brian Evenson and Jesse Ball will be reading. It tends to be crazy packed so get there early, find a comfy couch and be prepared to be be wowed.
Also on Thursday ‘Handmade Music’ will be umm… exploding at 3rd Ward. If you can get yourself out there (if it’s not too cold) these events are always worth the trip. They involve a coming together of “geeksters and the geek curious” and are generally a truly un-godly racket and a very good time.
I’ll be posting about next weekend as awesome events come to my attention. Please bring any to my attention that you come across!